HostMonster is a hosting company that was founded more than ten years ago–in 1996. The company says they host more than 100,000 domains. They are a reputable company that isn’t going anywhere. HostMonster is actually owned by BlueHost, a large web hosting company which we reviewed a while back here at Clickfire.
Have you ever had a web host that fit this image?
Image Credit: http://www.hostmovie.com/
As is often the case with web hosting companies that are owned by larger companies, the product and service offerings are nearly identical. Like BlueHost, HostMonster only offers one plan. Except for some minor differences with the number of databases and email accounts offered, the plan at BlueHost and at HostMonster are virtually the same. The features offered are also the same and actually listed in the same order on the two web sites.
The control panels offered by the two companies vary only slightly. The BlueHost control panel has a more standard cPanel skin with only minor edits/changes. The HostMonster control panel looks different than the traditional cPanel X theme, but has all of the same features. Everything to manage email accounts, subdomains, databases, etc. is there and works as expected.
At HostMonster, you get 300 GB of space and 3,000 GB of bandwidth for about $7.95 a month if you pay yearly. The pricing is hidden well within the signup form. If you want to signup for the minimum period (3 months), it is $7.95 a month and a $30 setup fee. Pricing goes down to $5.95 if you choose to pay 24 months in advance.
As far as incentives to signup go, HostMonster is not bad. They offer a sitebuilder, $50 in free ad credits from Yahoo, and a free domain name if you pay 12 or 24 months in advance. The company will not move your site for free, which is very disappointing.
Support at the two companies is also very similar. Like BlueHost, HostMonster requires you to submit your ticket using the company’s web based interface and also has many departments listed. I tried to submit a ticket, but it kept saying my domain and password were not valid. Needless to say, that was quite frustrating. I even found out that BlueHost and HosterMonster even have the same hold music.
A call to their support department was answered within about 3 minutes after dialing. The representative seemed friendly enough, but I did have to spell my domain name three times. Apparently, to submit a ticket, you have to register with their ticket system as well. This was an annoying process that took a good ten minutes. When I asked my actual question, he asked for my domain name again. I had to kindly remind him I already spelt it out three times two minutes before.
Later, when I went to login to Squirrel Mail, the interface was in Japanese. Since I still couldn’t submit a ticket online and had given up on that process, I called again. I was connected within about 5 minutes. The guy who picked up got the language changed to English fairly quickly, but seemed like a drone. “Domain please”, “Hold on please”, “It’s fixed”, and “You’re welcome” were basically the only words spoken throughout the whole call, which lasted about 10 minutes.
In researching HostMonster, I saw several complaints about spotty and sometimes unreliable FTP connections. Other customers also had problems running scripts on HostMonster’s servers. During my testing, the FTP seemed okay. I was able to install WordPress and a CMS without any trouble.
All and all, I wasn’t that impressed by HostMonster. It seems like the company is neglected. You basically get a lot of space and bandwidth and that’s it. If you are looking for an “upload and forget about it” host, HostMonster will work out just fine. If you want or require more, I’d suggest staying clear.